Meet the Team

Dianne Christensen
Dianne Christensen
Title: Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: diannec@nmsu.edu

Dianne received her B.S. degree in Home Economics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She earned her M.S. degree at Colorado State University in Consumer Economics and Education. Dianne enjoys all things related to Consumer Science from nutrition to baking to sewing to financial education. She is passionate about creating healthy and delicious food and assisting others to discover ways to incorporate healthy choices into their unique lifestyles. Dianne is married to Kevin and they enjoy their young adult children, Steven and Megan, Jon and Brianna, and Lynn.

Dianne has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 19 years managing a number of varied and diverse programs and events as well as a large group of volunteers. She loves working with clients and volunteers and experiencing the joy that comes from working together towards a common goal.

Dianne is looking forward to connecting and hearing about the ideas and interests of the existing Extension client base as well as building relationships with people new to the services Extension offers to the residents of Bernalillo County. Her desire is to assist others to craft healthy lifestyles to help with weight management and chronic illness. Excited for the summer gardening season, Dianne will enjoy assisting with food preservation classes and offering new programs as well.


John Garlisch
John Garlisch

Title: Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: garlisch@nmsu.edu

John is originally from rural Central Illinois where he grew up on a family farm. He was actively involved in 4-H representing Illinois at National Junior Horticulture Judging and at the National Club Congress. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a BS in Horticulture (2002) and an MS in Agriculture Consumer Economics (2008). He served in various leadership capacities with the Hort Club, Collegiate 4-H, and Beta Sigma Psi (National Lutheran Fraternity), and he was a member of Pi Alpha Xi (Honorary Horticulture Fraternity) and Alpha Zeta (Honorary Agriculture Fraternity). During his schooling, he studied for a semester at Wageningen Agriculture University in the Netherlands and interned in Germany with the Deutsche Bauern Verband (German Farmer's Union) working at an arboretum and a rhododendron nursery. John is also a professional organist.

John joined the Bernalillo County staff in Spring 2010. He is working with 4-H youth, assisting local farmers with business and production planning, facilitating agricultural educational programs and outdoor classroom projects with area schools, and answering questions from the public concerning the identification of plants and their culture, production, diseases, and pests.


Brittany Sonntag
Brittany Sonntag

Title: 4-H Agent | Urban Youth Development | Assistant Professor
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: bsonntag@nmsu.edu

Brittany grew up in central Florida, about an hour north of Orlando. She was very active in the local 4-H and FFA, participating in projects including horse, swine, steer, poultry, rabbit, citrus and veterinary medicine. She began her college career in 2007 when she attended the University of Florida. There she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Education and Communication, with a focus on teacher education. This allowed her to obtain her 6th-12th grade Agriculture Teacher Certification for the State of Florida. During her time as a Florida Gator, she was actively involved with Sigma Alpha (a professional agricultural sorority) and Collegiate 4-H. She was also a rider for the Florida Equestrian Team, competing in Western Horsemanship, Reining, and Hunt Seat Equitation. Upon her graduation from the University of Florida in 2011, Brittany traveled out to Texas to pursue a Master’s of Science in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication focusing on Extension Education. While at Texas A&M, she was an active member of Collegiate 4-H and spent a year riding with the Polo Team. Her thesis was on the Texas Quality County program, a livestock ethics and quality assurance program required of all 4-H and FFA members showing at the large Texas Livestock Shows. Brittany also held an assistantship with the Ecosystem Science and Management Extension Unit coordinating the Texas Range Webinar Series.

Brittany joined the Bernalillo County Extension Service in August of 2013 as the Urban 4-H Agent! She is excited to be working with youth in non-traditional 4-H projects as well as bringing 4-H programs to schools and community partners across the county.


Phillip Alden
Phillip Alden

Title: 4-H Agent | Family and Consumer Science Youth Development
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: palden@nmsu.edu

Phillip grew up in Tucumcari, New Mexico. He was very active in both 4-H and FFA in Quay County. Growing up he participated in most livestock and horse events through 4-H in the state of New Mexico. As well as participating in many of the home economics and leadership opportunities given. He was also heavily involved with the American Quarter Horse Association as a National Youth Director and foundation ambassador. He has had the opportunities to ride horses and compete in speech competitions, both nationally and internationally. He began his college career in 2014 when he attended St. Andrews University in North Carolina. There he received a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology, with a concentration in Therapeutic Horsemanship. During this time he was an active member of his schools Intercollegiate Horse Show Associations western team, as well as their hunter seat and dressage team. During his time on the team they where able to win back to back national championships. He was also given the opportunity to be a member of the photography team for IHSA during this time. Upon graduation he remained at St. Andrews University in several capacities and went on obtain his Masters in Business Administration, with a concentration in Biology with Specialization in Equine Science. Phillip joined the Bernalillo County Extension Service in August of 2022 as the Family and Consumer Science 4-H Agent!


Brittany Johnson
Brittany Johnson

Title: 4-H Agent | Agriculture and Natural Resources
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: brittmjo@nmsu.edu

Brittany was active in her hometown's 4-H club while growing up in Pendleton, Northeastern Oregon, showing her dog at both the county and state levels. She served as a junior leader in her club, helping younger and new members with their dogs and with their record books. Brittany later attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo, earning a degree in Biology. It was during her assignments with the Peace Corps, working with middle school students while serving in Romania, in Rwanda, and in the Philippines, that Brittany discovered her love of rural and community development. Her next stop brought her to New Mexico, where she earned her Master’s degree in Agriculture and Extension Education at NMSU.

Now having joined our Bernalillo County Extension team as the Agriculture and Natural Resources 4-H agent in October of 2019, Brittany is looking forward to getting to know the 4-H members, their parents, and the community of Bernalillo County.


Amber Benson-Lehmer
Amber Benson-Lehmer

Title: Agent | Family and Consumer Science
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: ambenson@nmsu.edu

Amber is originally from Oklahoma and now resides in Albuquerque. She has served in leadership roles within the Food & Beverage industry over the last 20 years, all over the country, including Missouri, California, Washington D.C., and Tennessee. Amber earned her B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Applied Organizational Leadership from MNU in Olathe, KS where she is currently completing her MBA.

Amber has been a certified Food Safety Manager for the last ten years and has studied and practiced food preservation since 2016. She began volunteering and teaching for UCCE (University of California Cooperative Extension) while living in Davis, California and continued her volunteer work with the UTE (University of Tennessee Extension) while living in Nashville.

She joined our Bernalillo County Extension team in June 2023 as a Family and Consumer Science Agent with a focus on food science and safety, food preservation and technology, and food entrepreneurship. Amber is passionate about empowering others and connecting her community to the world around them through food.


Joseph Delgado
Joseph Delgado

Title: Horticulture Agent
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: jd13@nmsu.edu

Joseph was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Growing up he loved spending time at the Albuquerque Botanic Garden. It was there that he sparked an interest in plant science. Thankfully, he landed an internship with the City of Albuquerque Biopark which was the start to a career in botany. Joseph was awarded the 2018 Career and Technical Education award at RGHS which allowed him to demonstrate various leadership qualities.

Joseph used this experience and training to get accepted to New Mexico State University. He chose a major in Horticulture because it is unique and tailored to his interests. Joseph has worked at various greenhouses and nurseries all over New Mexico and holds a ton of plant knowledge. Some call him a plant "guru". Joseph was also a farm manager for Robert. F. Kennedy Charter School where he took care of a two-acre farm. There Joseph served as the program coordinator for an integrated farm to school program which taught a group of 20 high school students sustainability and conservation practices.

Joseph took on the role of the Bernalillo County Horticulture Agent in July 2023. He serves as a program coordinator for the Albuquerque Master Gardener Program which trains the community in all things horticulture. Joseph works closely with farmers and gardeners from all around the county offering advice and helping to diagnose various horticulture related problems. He also works with specialists at the NMSU main campus in Las Cruces who in turn help educate the community. Joseph is very grateful to be here and looks forwards to what the future has in store.


Angelina M. Jonsson
Angelina M. Jonsson

Title: ICAN CES-Program Educator
Office Phone: 505-224-5534
Email: amj@nmsu.edu


Suzanne Porter-Bolton
Suzanne Porter-Bolton

Title: ICAN CES-Program Educator
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: spb@nmsu.edu

Suzanne is a native of Albuquerque, NM, and a member of the Laguna Tribe. She received her B.S. degree in Nutrition, as well as her M.S. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, from the University of New Mexico. Suzanne has also served on the NM Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics board and is a member of the NM Diabetes Advisory Council. She has a strong interest in lifestyle medicine and believes that a healthy, primarily plant-based diet, regular physical activity, strong social connections, and meaningful service contribute to a happy life and a healthy body, mind, and spirit. She loves helping others in whatever capacity she can and is grateful to have a job that allows her to serve.


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Carla Jaramillo

Title: CES County Program Assistant
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: carlaj65@nmsu.edu


Taylor M. Roggow
Taylor Roggow

Title: Admin Assistant, General
Office Phone: 505-243-1386
Email: troggow@nmsu.edu


Brian Hinds
Brian Hinds

Title: Computer Specialist l- ACES IT
Office Phone: 800-220-7342
Email: hinds@nmsu.edu

Brian has worked for NMSU since 2008. Although he is based in Albuquerque, his position actually provides IT support for 16 Extension Offices and Ag Science Centers located in northwest New Mexico. Brian grew up in Caledonia, NY, and Delaware, OH. Prior to joining NMSU, he worked as a Nuclear Weapons Specialist for the U.S. Air Force and Manufacturing Tech/Emergency Responder for Intel Corporation. His personal interests include cars, computers, photography and home theaters systems.